Government Futures Launches Prediction Market Tool to Tap the Wisdom of Crowds

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"Bet the Future" added to collective intelligence toolbox that helps business and government leaders succeed in a changing environment

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These markets are already used by large organizations around the world to inform key business and policy decisions; the tool is now available to the government-industry community.

Government Futures, a Web 2.0 analysis and consulting firm that taps collective intelligence to predict and shape future trends in the government technology and services sector, today launched "Bet the Future," a prediction market. The market enables government and industry thought leaders to pool their knowledge and more accurately predict technology, business and legislative events. The market results can improve the decisions leaders make in this rapidly changing environment.

"Prediction markets are collective intelligence tools for leaders who have decided to embrace change as a way out of the confusion and anxiety created by technical and social shifts," said Bruce McConnell, Government Future's president. "These markets are already used by large organizations around the world to inform key business and policy decisions; the tool is now available to the government-industry community." McConnell noted collective intelligence and other forms of social networking software are rapidly being adopted by business and government, driven in part by how the newest generation of employees communicates, creates, and shares ideas.

"Prediction markets excel at identifying the wisdom in crowds," said Michael Abramowicz, professor of law at George Washington University and author of a forthcoming book on the topic. "To date prediction markets have been used primarily for entertainment or research. The Government Futures market is exciting because it could have a significant effect on real world government and business decisions. These markets align with the trend toward personal empowerment, and the American value of informed, democratic participation."

Prediction: Size of the Federal IT Budget

Bet the Future's initial topics include predicting the size of the fiscal year 2008 federal information technology budget request, and the future of small business regulations. The site, powered by Inkling, allows members of the community to create markets around their own topics of interest. Participation is free, and "top traders" can win recognition and rewards.

Prediction markets operate like a stock market, with prices signaling information about the predicted outcome. Traders can make profits when prices rise or fall. Due to regulatory barriers, real money is not used in public markets.

A government experiment in hosting a public policy analysis market, proposed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in 2003, was cancelled after Congressional criticism. "DARPA's experiment was an early attempt to harness collective intelligence," McConnell said, "We hope to revitalize this tool to involve the public in identifying - and shaping - the future business, policy, and legislative environment.

About Government Futures, LLC

Government Futures, LLC is a Web 2.0 analysis and consulting firm that taps collective intelligence to help decision makers in the government-industry community understand and shape the future of the federal marketplace, and improve their position in it. Founded by community veterans Bruce McConnell and Margaret Anderson, and aided by a council of seasoned advisers, the company enables the community to collaborate and develop its own collective intelligence. Government Futures [advises] companies and other organizations in the application of these results. For more information, or to participate in the community, please visit http://www.governmentfutures.com/?campaign=PRWebPredictionMarket1.30.07.

CONTACTS:

Margaret Anderson, Co-Founder

Government Futures, LLC

1301 K St. NW - Suite 450 West

Washington, DC 20005

703-573-0134

Media Contact:

Julie Keyser-Squires, APR

Softscribe Inc.

404-256-5512

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Margaret Anderson
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